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maddezmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:42 PM
Original message
Union Leader: Labor Can't Just Back Dems
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 04:47 PM by maddezmom
By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer
41 minutes ago



WASHINGTON - Organized labor should help politicians who will advance labor's cause rather than simply supporting Democrats, says a union leader pushing for changes in the AFL-CIO.

"We can't just elect Democratic politicians and try to take back the House and take back the Senate and think that's going to change workers' lives," said Andrew Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union.

During a briefing Thursday, Stern said politics is only part of labor's strategy. He said "electing Democrats and taking back the House or getting rid of (House Majority Leader) Tom Delay" are not enough to answer workers' problems.

"It certainly would help, but we don't think it's the answer," Stern said.

Karen Ackerman, political director of the AFL-CIO, countered, "We are committed to standing with and supporting elected leaders or candidates who will stand with working people." That means the AFL-CIO sometimes doesn't support Democrats and sometimes supports Republican candidates who back labor rights, she said.

more:http://news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20050707/ap...
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. How about a national workers' union?
Any employee is eligible.

Any.
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htuttle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:48 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. It already exists -- It's called the IWW
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. where are the pro-labor republicans?
Isn't that like a pro-integration Klansman?

I thought they were going to go the other direction--if the Democrat is too lame, we will support someone to run against him from a third party or run someone against him in the primary.
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genius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:52 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Ron Paul sides with us against the free trade people.
There are others.
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makhno Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:50 PM
Response to Reply #5
20. Ron Paul's an interesting character
Saw him argue for cutting down on aid to Colombia in support of the failed War on Drugs. Something to the effect of "I'd like to ask my fellow members of Congress how many constituents contacted them asking to continue giving money to the Colombian government. Not a single one, I'd bet. This is a corporate handout and I urge you all to vote for the amendment ."

He spoke from the heart, much more persuasively than most Democrats that day.
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NEOBuckeye Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #20
28. Rep. Ron Paul is one of today's few respectable Conservatives
He's actually a Libertarian and about 180 degrees opposite me and probably most people on the Left on just about every issue. But he's far from being a duplicitous charlatan like DeLay, Frist or Cheney, and most other Repugs in Washington are.
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sled Donating Member (430 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:50 PM
Response to Reply #28
31. Just for grins...
Maybe folks should check out some of Dr. Paul's columns & speeches, & see if they might agree with a few...at least he stands for something...

http://www.house.gov/paul/legis_tst.htm

http://www.house.gov/paul/legis_congrec.htm
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MrBenchley Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-05 07:40 PM
Response to Reply #5
35. Ron Paul's no more pro-labor than he is sane
The Representative from Insania is opposed to minimum wage and worker protection laws...
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genius Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. Feinstein is proof of that.
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:52 PM
Response to Original message
6. Unions should support local parties who are more worker friendly.
Here in Brooklyn, the Working Families party is a much better alternative to the corrupt machine that is the Brooklyn Democratic party.
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Zorra Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 04:57 PM
Response to Original message
7. What utter bullshit. When has a republican candidate EVER
supported working people?

Never.

My God, even union leadership has been infiltrated by the totally anti-labor GOP right wing.
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acmejack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. Talking about using their support as a bargaining chip
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 05:09 PM by acmejack
The way unions once did, one with two suitors has options.

Stern is the best thing that has happpened to the unions in years. Has done much good with the service workers.

edit for spelling.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 05:59 PM
Response to Reply #9
14. as a curious foreigner ...

As a side effect of looking at NRA campaign donations for a discussion in the gun dungeon, I ran into the SEIU (and its partner, the state employee's union) in North Carolina. This is what I posted. (The issue was why the NRA endorses Democrats, and whether it has an agenda other than opposing firearms control measures, i.e. a broader right-wing agenda, and, perhaps, simply saw the value of backing a winner where other things were equal.)

***

The fine points of NC politics are of course not my forte, but I found this about Hargett, one of the incumbent Democrat state senators endorsed by the NRA over an NRA-"A" rated Republican:
http://www.seanc.org/site/index.cfm?fuseaction=page&fil...

In Onslow and Jones counties, Harry Brown, who benefited from SEIU independent expenditures, defeated incumbent Sen. Cecil Hargett. Hargett also voted to raise employee dependent health care costs, and it ended up costing him his seat.
Labour seems to have supported the Republican. Odd sort of Democrat?

The only targeted legislative race SEANC lost was the one between longtime SEANC member Bev Moore and Sen. Clark Jenkins <another Democrat endorsed by the NRA>, but Moore made a very respectable showing against a strong incumbent.

... SEANC Statement on Gubernatorial Race

Were not surprised at the outcome of the governors race, but we are, of course, disappointed. In any race for public office, the incumbent always has the advantage. In this case, Gov. Easley <the incumbent Democrat, endorsed by the NRA> had a 2 to 1 corporate funding advantage over his opponent, which he was able to turn into an aggressive television ad campaign. Ballantine simply could not compete financially. ..."
The SEIU seems to be quite politically active in the US:
http://www.blog.rockthevote.com/2004_09_12_archive.html
http://www.wisinfo.com/elections/ele_14705811.shtml

In the run-up to the primary season, Rep. Dick Gephardt had the support of nearly two dozen individual unions. But Dean won the backing of the Service Employees International Union and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, and kept Gephardt from getting the federations overall endorsement.
http://www.seiu.org/media/press.cfm?ID=1155

Citing the former Vermont governors commitment to health care and workers rights, the 1.6 million-member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the largest union of health care workers in the country, today announced that it has endorsed Dr. Howard Dean for President of the United States.

... Nearly a year ago, SEIUs leaders stated that in order to be considered for the unions endorsement, candidates had to meet three criteria: 1) they must be publicly committed to workers rights; 2) they must offer a written, comprehensive health care plan, including a way to pay for it; and 3) they must demonstrate widespread support among SEIU members.



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Teaser Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 05:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
13. You don't have a clue
about Andy Stern.

You just don't.

He's talking about Labor's strategy to emphasize supporting the Democrats over organizing new union members. That strategy has failed. Labor needs to put a priority on expanding unions. Politics should come a close second.
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davepc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
34. When have Democrats sold out Unions?
Lots of times. The entire DLC agenda, for one...example.

CAFTA, for another.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 05:01 PM
Response to Original message
8. They sure can't- DINO's keep selling them out
Look at the CAFTA vote.... Dems in the Senate could have stopped that- but 10 of them felt the need to betray their principles- and stab organized labor (and a whole bunch of others) in the back.

If Labor is on board with pouring money into dumping DINO's, then count me in. All told, they do more harm than Republicans.



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UCLA Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
10. Then who are you going to support? You know how R's love labor
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geek tragedy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:14 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. Local parties in urban areas are a better option. eom
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d_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 05:43 PM
Response to Original message
11. I agree.
They should be (and probably are) backing politicians like Bernie Sanders.
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cascadiance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:28 PM
Response to Reply #11
18. You beat me to it...
Sanders was exactly the person I was thinking of where the Unions should support someone other than a Dem in the Vermont Senate Race (Sanders). It's good at least that fellow Vermonter Howard Dean recognizes this and isn't running someone against Sanders in that race.
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d_b Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:42 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. Isn't Sanders great?
I for one will be donating to Sanders' campaign.
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OzarkDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 05:48 PM
Response to Original message
12. Unions don't want to lose control of Dem Party
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 05:51 PM by Demgirl
any more than the corporate contributors do. The huge increase in fundraising from the grassroots has them scared as well as the corporations. In years past, both had developed a careful balance in controlling the party leaders and candidates.

Is it silly? Sure. Grassroots Dems aren't likely to support issues that are harmful to unions, with the possible exception of supporting stricter enforcement of environmental laws (many unions think cleaning up the enviornment costs workers jobs).

These union leaders have HUGE egos, much the same as any corporate CEO. Losing power hurts. Too bad, democracy is hard. See if they have better luck with Repubs.

On edit: Don't forget - Sweeney is a member of PNAC. War = good paying union jobs, doncha know...

http://www.laboreducator.org/sweenhawk.htm
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MaineDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
16. The SEIU is threatening to pull out of the AFL-CIO
I really don't understand what they're trying to gain.

They were the largest union to support Dean if I remember.
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erpowers Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
17. To That
To that I say to Stern, while when you get screwed you just get screwed.
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hollowdweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:54 PM
Response to Original message
21. The GOP governors in my state have treated state employees WAY better than

Democrats, and still our Public Employees union endorses the Democrat. I'm a democrat, so it really hurts me that my own party acts more like the GOP at the state level. I think that in some instances the Democrats take union member for granted so I think it is good they are not going to automatically endorse them.
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Justice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:57 PM
Response to Reply #21
24. What State is That?
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:59 PM
Response to Reply #24
26. I know ;)

I won't say though; not my place. ;)

But see my post 14, re another state - North Carolina - and the same issue.

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hollowdweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
22. The GOP governors in my state have treated state employees WAY better than

Democrats, and still our Public Employees union endorses the Democrat. I'm a democrat, so it really hurts me that my own party acts more like the GOP at the state level. I think that in some instances the Democrats take union member for granted so I think it is good they are not going to automatically endorse them.
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hollowdweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:55 PM
Response to Original message
23. The GOP governors in my state have treated state employees WAY better than

Democrats, and still our Public Employees union endorses the Democrat. I'm a democrat, so it really hurts me that my own party acts more like the GOP at the state level. I think that in some instances the Democrats take union member for granted so I think it is good they are not going to automatically endorse them.
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hollowdweller Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 06:58 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Whoops! Button must have stuck
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cosmicdot Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 07:54 PM
Response to Original message
27. whatever, but Labor might consider a PR effort
Some Americans could use a refresher/history course (via ads, etc.) on the positive things unions have done for them ... history of the conditions before, the progress afterward -- raising awareness of the ramifications of the current efforts and agenda to undermine and reverse that progress. They need to understand the consequences of returning to another 'ownership society'.

Now, might be a good time for an all-out campaign to improve (and counter) any negatives which have been cultivated over the years by the right-wing/anti-New Dealers.

The election in California will be crucial.... it'll be another referendum on Bu$hCo and the Radical Republican agenda; and, will affect the 2006 elections and more.


July 3, 2005

"State Ballot, Wider Impact"

By Mark Z. Barabak, Times Staff Writer


Activists across the nation are gearing up for the special election. It's seen as a prelude to battles on union clout, drug prices and more.

~snip~

"Conservative activists see an opportunity to defang a longtime nemesis organized labor by making it harder to collect union dues for political purposes.

"The pharmaceutical industry and consumer groups are waging a battle over prescription drugs that both sides consider a test case for fights in Congress and elsewhere.

~snip~

"Eight initiatives have qualified for the statewide ballot, which will bring voters to the polls for the fourth time in as many years. The measures deal with a variety of issues, including parental consent for abortions, teacher tenure and electricity re-regulation, as well as union dues, redistricting, prescription drugs and the state budget."

~snip~

http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/front/la-me-sp...
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anotherdrew Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
29. someone shut this clown up
"Organized labor should help politicians who will advance labor's cause rather than simply supporting Democrats, says a union leader pushing for changes in the AFL-CIO."

The way our country works is a two party system, and giving labor money to ANY republican is the damn stupidest thing I've ever heard. EVERY republican ALWAYS puts party before all else, they will never "help" labor in any way. Why? Because if the republican PARTY had it's way there would be ZERO organized labor in this or ANY country. Period.

Labor money would be better spent funding alternative media streams for 'edutainment'. And let the Democratic party know they can count on our support, but really use that support to sway local elections too and especially PRIMARIES so good Dem's can rid us of the zell millers.
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BiggJawn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:36 PM
Response to Original message
30. I could see them not supporting DINO's, but ReTHUGlicans?
I can't think of ANY Pro-Labor RetTHUGlicans off the top of my head.

Shit, most the ones around here are anti-union business owners...

Andy needs to lay off the Martinis when he's scheduled to talk to the Press.....
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K-W Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
32. People are misreading this.
Edited on Thu Jul-07-05 10:00 PM by K-W
He is simply saying that they while they do want to get a Dem majority, and do want to get rid of the Delay republicans, they are not simply partisans and will only support candidates who support labor. Lucky enough those are generally democrats.
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yurbud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 03:26 AM
Response to Reply #32
36. When Dem acts too pro-business, labor should threaten in primary
this can be a powerful tool for clearing out the chamber of commerce stealth candidates.

Hillbilly Hitler art:



Blog:



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IndianaGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-07-05 10:16 PM
Response to Original message
33. Please read the Change to Win Coalition website
This is the website being used by the reformist unions:

Restoring the American Dream Proposal

The unions' joint proposal calls for the following changes in the AFL-CIO:

Direct half of the AFL-CIOs total budget to growth

Actively support mergers that unite workers by industry

Strategically leverage labors existing bases of industry strength

Make the AFL-CIO the center for a permanent campaign to take on powerful anti-worker employers and help workers unite their strength in new growth sectors

Make growth and worker power our political focus

Create a new governance model


Enhance accountability

Leadership committed to building a movement that can win

Make diversity at all levels a central strategic objective

Make workers money work for working families

Unite workers strength across borders

Lead a campaign for health care and retirement security

http://www.changetowin.org/index.asp?Type=B_BASIC&SEC={...

Previous DU thread:

Hoffa strikes chord as a reformer (AFL-CIO split)

http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...
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WCGreen Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-05 03:53 AM
Response to Original message
37. I have been hearing this for years now...
This is a tactic to try and get candidates who are more attuned to Labor to run against questionable Dem's...

It's a shot across the bow of people in the dem party who are cozying up to the DLC.....

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